Without any water source in the locality, residents of Kelzari village in Darla, Chukha, have been fetching water from a nearby drying stream. Some fetched from the nearby ponds.

People have constructed water taps in front of their houses since 2015 but most taps are dry too.

The situation is, however, expected to change soon.

The residents of the 47 households are expected to benefit from the government’s investment of Nu 2.5 million (M) to connect water to the village from Geduchu, which is 56kms away.

Kelzari tshogpa Dawa Tshering said that water from the source has reached the tank and about 20 households have been provided with water. “Interconnections for the rest of the taps would be done soon.”

A villager, Yourity Mukhia, said it took her half an hour to fetch water in jerry cans from the nearby stream.  She is hoping to get the water connected in front of her house soon.

Darla gup Mil Kumar Mongar said that although the gewog and dzongkhag officials were concerned about the water problem, there was no source in Kelzari to solve the problem.

He said that water connection from Geduchu would benefit Kelzari and two other villages, Nimgang and Bazaar Dara. “About 200 households in Darla will benefit from this connection.”

The gup said that the gewog office is worried about the continuity of the water, as the pipes pass through a landslide-prone area along the Manitar-Raidak road to Lhamoizingkha.

He said that the Phuentsholing drungpa visited the site to verify the challenges and solve the issue.

Kelzari tshogpa Dawa Tshering and some villagers are planning to preserve the forest water source from where villagers had been drinking water until now.

“We are discussing with the forest officials,” he said. “The village will fence the source. Felling trees will also not be allowed in this area.”

Rajesh Rai | Kelzari